Monday, August 24, 2009
Best Conch Chowder Ever!
This summer we vacationed on the island of Turks & Caicos (TCI). Looking through the comments from previous guests (left in the guest journal of the home we rented),we noticed numerous references to Da Conch Shack as one of the highlights of vacationers' time on the island. Being the curious "foodies" that we are, we had to check it out.
What : Queen conch, vegetables, peppers (most likely habanera) in a fish and tomato based stock.
Why it’s the Best – freshness really counts in seafood, and it's no exception with conch. Old conch can take on a rubbery texture and lose its flavor. The conch in this chowder is tender and delicious. The chowder itself had a great balance of flavors and just the right hint of spiciness. It didn’t try to overwhelm the dish which we’ve run into a few times at other island restaurants.
We also sampled conch in about every other way imaginable; fritters, stir fried, even curried, and we weren't impressed. The conch is fresh and best eaten in soup or in fritters...in our opinion.
How we know – because we literally watched our meal go from the ocean to our plate...our soup bowl in this case. Plus, everyone in the guest book said so! Of course, the Rum Bar could of had something to do with it as well.
Interesting side note, conch fishing in the US waters and territories (the Keys, U S Virgins Island, etc.) is banned. Most restaurant conch is farm raised and Turks & Caicos is one of the largest exporters of Queen conch in the carribean. If you get a chance to go to TCI book a charter to go conch diving. Conch also makes a great salad (actually, it tastes more like delicious lime/jalepeno/cilantro salsa).
Craving Level: YEARLY (only because we're being realists, and don't own a private jet to take us there more often!).
Review & Directions: TripAdvisor